AMUG Names Tech Competition Winners

Point Designs, BuildParts by CIDEAS, and Eaton take top spots in the annual competition.

Point Designs, BuildParts by CIDEAS, and Eaton take top spots in the annual competition.

Winning entries for the 2024 AMUG Technical Competition. Image courtesy of AMUG.

The Additive Manufacturing Users Group (AMUG) announces the winners of its annual Technical Competition, which recognizes excellence in additive manufacturing applications and finishing techniques. A panel of industry veterans selected entries from Point Designs LLC and BuildParts by CIDEAS, Inc. as Advanced Concepts and Advanced Finishing winners. AMUG members selected the entry by Eaton for the Members' Choice Award.

The Technical Competition took place at the annual AMUG Conference in Chicago. “This event showcases the innovations, craftsmanship, and dedication to driving advances in additive manufacturing,” said Bonnie Meyer, chair of the Technical Competition Committee. “The participants range from individuals to team collaborations, but every entry demonstrates ingenuity and highlights projects that are only made possible with the use of additive manufacturing technologies.”

Nine judges evaluated the competition entries to select Advanced Finishing and Advanced Concepts winners.

Chris Baschuk, director of Clinical Services at Point Design LLC, submitted the winning entry in the Advanced Concepts category, “Lightweight Revolution: Ventilated Multi-material Shoulder Disarticulation Prosthesis.” Manufactured with HP's Multi Jet Fusion, in rigid PA 12 and flexible TPU, the patient-specific device balances functionality with user comfort by leveraging the distinctive capabilities of additive manufacturing.

Baschuk noted that the prosthesis reduces bulkiness, weight, and fabrication complexity associated with conventional approaches. 

Mike Littrell, president of BuildParts by CIDEAS, and a previous Technical Competition winner, once again took the top spot in the Advanced Finishing category. His entry, titled “Coin-Operated Rides,” displayed scale replicas that pay tribute—in style, materials, colors, and functionality—to a bygone era of entertainment and culture.

The scale models included a “Race to the Moon” rocket scooter and a futuristic spacecraft from a 1950s point of view. Littrell noted that each model contained 99% printed parts and that three additive manufacturing technologies were used: DLP (Digital Light Projection), FDM (Fused Deposition Modeling) and SLA (Stereolithography). To educate AMUG Members, Littrell displayed the scale models in three states: fully finished, sanded/primed, and as-printed.

Through voting by AMUG's Members, Eaton received the Members' Choice award. Meyer commented, “Unlike Advanced Concepts and Advanced Finishing, the Members' Choice award has no defined evaluation criteria. It is open to personal and subjective impressions. This year, the members and judges had different perspectives.” 

Sam Mills, Engineering Specialist for Eaton, submitted “Fully AM Luminaire,” a project by the Eaton team that included additive manufacturing and material science experts. In his entry, Mills cited team members John Hana (Senior Engineer), Mansura Islam (Senior Additive Engineer), Sabina Kumar (Lead Engineer), Riyanka Ribble (Engineering Specialist) and Chris Ring (Lighting Expert and Manager).

Mills said, “The luminaire platform is the only known custom solution that leverages multiple additive manufacturing technologies, making it a pioneering solution in the lighting field.” He continued, “It demonstrated the value of AM [additive manufacturing] to manufacture the entire lighting solution.” The results are impressive, and the best-in-class efficiency of 150 lumens/Watt is a testament to the quality of the overall product.

The luminaire, which was entered in the Advanced Concepts category, contains additively manufactured parts for 90 percent of the components. Employing design for additive manufacturing (DFAM) techniques, the luminaire achieves Department of Energy (DOE) manufacturing goals for reshoring, SKU reduction, and efficiency. Mills stated, “By using DFAM tools for part integration, we cut the assembly time in half and virtually eliminate the need for product-specific tooling.” 

For Advanced Finishing, Ed Graham of Prototek took second place for “The Pumpkin King.” Third place was awarded to Olaf Diegel of the University of Auckland for “Darth Vader Reborn.”

The Technical Competition judging panel was comprised of nine AMUG DINOs. These judges were Paul Bates, Bob Diaz, Sheku Kamara, Bruce LeMaster, John Schaefer, Harold Sears, Ed Tackett, Pat Warner, and Mark Wynn.

Sources: Press materials received from the company and additional information gleaned from the company’s website.


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